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5 Historic Events During Ramadan that Rocked the World

5 Historic Events During Ramadan that Rocked the World

Ramadan 2012 Posts

We all know that Ramadan is the month of fasting, abstinence and reflection. However, what we may not know is that Ramadan also just happens to be a month of awesome history defining events that shaped the world we live in today. Here are my top 5 events that occurred in the month of Ramadan:

5. Battle of Guadalete

Ramadan, the 92nd year of Hijrah (711 C.E.) a slave of the Umayyad governor of Africa and his Berber troops faced off against the Visigoth king of Spain. Tariq bin Ziyad was born a slave and would die a beggar, but somewhere in between he managed to become one of the greatest generals the world has ever seen.

Having landed shortly before on a large rock at the bottom of Spain (that to this day is names after him), Tariq literally burned the boats that brought him and his comrades from the Maghreb. The extreme motivational tool worked and despite being outnumbered by the enemy by a ratio of at least 3 to 1, the Muslims managed to defeat the Visigoth King Roderic at the battle of Guadalete and race on to take over the whole of Spain and most of the France.

Thus began 800 years of Muslim rule in Andalusia that was the apogee of Umayyad civilization, laid the basis of the European enlightenment and proved that Muslims, Christians and Jews could live in harmony – well, at least until the Inquisition came along.

4. The Horns of Hattin

Salahuddin Ayyubi was one of the most awesome heroes in the history of Islam. We know he defeated the crusaders and reclaimed Jerusalem for Islam and the Muslims after almost a century of Frankish desecration. We even know that he managed to do this all whilst essentially being an extremely nice guy with chivalry and honesty being qualities that even his enemies acknowledged in him.

But did you know that he also had impeccable timing? Salahuddin had been slowly circling the Crusader kingdom for years. He was building his strength, neutralising weak points within his own ranks and essentially playing a massive game of chicken with the Crusader King. Well, in Ramadan of 1187 C.E., the game came to a head with both sides going for broke at the Horns of Hattin. What followed was less a battle and more a masterclass by Salahuddin in how to own your enemy tactically, physically and mentally. When the dust settled, the Muslims had triumphed, the leaders of the Crusader kingdom were prisoners and the road to Jerusalem was clear. Oh, and he retook that on the anniversary of israa and miraaj (the Prophet [peace be upon him] ascension to heaven via Jerusalem)… like I said, impeccable timing.

3. The last stand at Ain Jalut

Few Muslims had heard of Mongolia let alone seen anyone from there and yet here were this band of barbarians laying waste to everything that lay in their path. To give you an idea of how scared Muslims had become, it was said that if a Mongolian warrior asked a Muslim to wait kneeling for him whilst he went and found a sword to kill him with, the Muslim guy would wait patiently rather than risk a fate that was literally worse than death!

The whole of the Islamic world had collapsed in the face of this new and terrible enemy. Well, not the whole Islamic world. One last outpost remained. In Egypt, the Mamluk sultan Qutuz decided that he wasn't just going to wait for his turn to die. He gathered his forces and made one last stand. At the springs of Goliath (Ain Jalut) the last consequential army in the Muslim world faced off against the undefeated Mongols. It was like a boxing match between some scrawny challenger and the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world – only with millions more lives at stake. The outcome of the battle see-sawed between the Muslims and the Mongols until finally, Qutuz himself led the breakthrough by charging deep into enemy ranks. That Ramadan, Ain Jalut marked the first time that the Mongols had lost a pitched battle – and Islam (not to mention the rest of the world) was saved.

2. Conquest of Mecca

The conquest of Mecca was more than just a footnote in Islamic history. It was the happy ending of one of the most amazing stories ever told. A story in which a band of men and women were tortured and harassed in their own home town because of their faith, how they had to flee as refugees and within the decade returned as conquerors.

The conquest of Mecca was a turning point in world history. Islam had returned home to where it had begun and the Kaaba was once more dedicated to the worship of Allāh alone. As Mecca goes, so does the rest of Arabia and within the time it takes for news to travel, almost all of tribes in the Peninsula sent delegations to Madīnah with their allegiance.

Today more than 1.6 billion Muslims turn their face five times a day for prayer, go on Hajj at least once in a lifetime and bury all our dead facing towards this city conquered on one fateful day in Ramadan.

1. Battle of Badr  

The mother of all defining moments – the battle of Badr is without a doubt the most important existential battle between good and evil in the history of mankind. On one side, the last Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and just over 300 of his followers. On the other, the idolaters of Quraish with their superior numbers, weapons and wealth.

What followed was an epic battle that still resonates with Muslims across the world. Actually – the word “epic” doesn't even begin to define the enormity of this battle. How important was this battle in the grand scheme of things? Before the battle started the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) raised his hand to the heavens and said words to the effect, “If this small band perish today, then there will be no one left to worship you on the face of this Earth.” They didn't perish and to this day, all who profess that there is no God but Allāh and Muḥammad is His messenger are eternally grateful.

Lesson from the History?

To see Ramadan as only a month of inward spiritual reflection and purification is to miss out on the real example of sacrifice, struggle that has been a feature of the month of Ramadan throughout our history. This Ramadan, get involved in a project and make a difference to the Muslims in your community and the world around.

allah makkah medina muhammad

About Muhammad Wajid Akhter

Although originally from India, Wajid grew up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he began learning Islamic sciences from an early age. After moving to the UK, he went to Medical School where he founded the University of London Union Islamic Societies (ULU ISoc) and the Charity Week for Orphans project in 2003. He currently serves on the Board of Advisers for the latter. He is passionate about uniting the Muslim youth in general and Islamic history in particular.


  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Hi Mr Sceptic,

      Battle of Guadalete – Muslims invited by Count Julian of the Iberian Peninsula to free his people and the Jews of the oppression of the Visigoths. Not an invasion if you are invited in by the people.

      Battle of Hattin – Muslims fight of invading crusaders to reclaim back Muslim land. Not an an invasion.

      Battle of Ain Jalut – Muslims successfully defend against Mongol hordes invading their lands. Not an invasion.

      Conquest of Makkah – Muslims retake the city that many of them originally come from in a nearly bloodless cakewalk. Not an invasion.

      Battle of Badr – Muslims defeat Quraish army a few miles outside the Muslim city of Medina. Not an invasion.

      Perhaps you need to look up the meaning of the word invasion?
      And while your at it, do some research about who invented Weapons of Mass Destruction, engineered the holocaust and wiped out Millions across the world. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that the industrialisation of death is a Muslim-free zone.

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  2. And Ramadhan is the month is which PAKISTAN was born! <3

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    • Apparently your comment has one dislike from some Indian, alhamdulillah Pakistan came into existence on Ramadan 27th as well.

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      • I was the “Indian” that marked it with the dislike. Just for the record.
        And it is exactly because of nationalistic comments such as yours that I did so.

        The Prophet (SAW) said – “People should give up their pride in nations/ dead ancestors because this is a coal
        from the coals of hell-fire. If they do not give this up Allah (swt)
        will consider them lower than a lowly worm which pushes itself through
        khur (feaces).” [Abu Dawd and Tirmidhi]

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        • Why is having an Islamic nation born as nationalistic comment? I see it as blessing rather. It is good thing that happened to many of us, please feel happy for your fellow muslims. Sh Waleed Basyouni mentioned in khutbah during ramadan many times, when he counts good things that happened to muslims.

          Thank you for quoting hadiths, alhamdulillah does not apply to me.

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          • I agree with Wajid. As a Pakistani myself, I really think that calling Pakistan an Islamic nation is really just a big joke. True, many muslims live in this country. But that is all.

            Did you know that Pakistan exports Alchohol (made in the famous Murree Brewery) to India among other countries? Did you know that Pakistani authorities are arresting anyone that speaks of the return of the Islamic state, including army officers? These are just a few of the features of the “Islamic nation” that you praise.

            In another comment, you say that “we make Dua for all … Muslim countries”. With all due respect, I would never make Dua for a “country” when I could make Dua for its people. These ‘countries’ such as Pakistan are just a pointless division. Seriously, if Pakistan was such an Islamic country, why was its national language not made Arabic so that we could understand the Qur’an? Think about this for a minute.

            May Allah guide us all.

            *Note from Comments Team: Your name has been edited to comply with our Comments Policy*

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        • Beautiful quotation of the hadeeth.

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        • @Wajid:
          You wrote: “I was the “Indian” that marked it with the dislike. Just for the record.
          And it is exactly because of nationalistic comments such as yours that I did so.”


          You should not have disliked sumaiya’s comment. I dont think what she said because of pride. How do you know her intentions?

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      • Maa-shaa-Allah informative post. Jazakallahu khair.

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    • Yakub Rabiutheen

      Make that 3 this is about islam not nationalism. Its a failed pusedo islamic state.

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      • Yes Islam is not about nationalism, but alhamdulillah article celebrates establishment of islamic country in Spain (which was more or less independent from central khilafah, specially during abassids time). That islamic state does not exists anymore, so someone can call it “failed” state.

        Yes Pakistan is in bad shape like many other muslim countries (that are getting better perhaps now). So as a muslim you should make dua for Pakistan and its prosperity. I mean unless you hate Pakistan because of asbiyah (nationalistic/tribalilism) reasons, then you should see the hadith quoted by brother Wajid. We muslims make dua for all muslim and all muslim countries, we should not exclude Pakistan from it. I am sure if we had mentioned any other muslim country being founded in ramadan we would not have any issue.

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  3. Jazakallah khair for this very informative and interesting post!

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  4. Alhamdulillah. Educational. It enriches the mind and remember the greatest achievement of our heroes in the past.

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  6. Epic!

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  7. Had fasting been prescribed for the Muslims during the Battle of Badr?

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  8. Haven’t even started reading but MM is making a comeback with all these awesome articles/stories. Good work!

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  9. Very good article. As for those who are saying that Islam is not a peace loving religion, just want to tell them that look at the purpose of war and you would understand the concept. The concept of Jihad in Islam is “just war” in western terms and is the pinnacle of sacrifice, because the purpose is not to colonize the land and people rather just to get the people out from darkness of Kufr and oppression to the light and justice of Islam.

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  10. you forgot.. Martydom of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, by Khwarijites in Mosque of Kufa, on 21 Ramzan.

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  11. *The battle of Hattin took place 3 months before rajab, not in Ramzan.

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  12. If the muslims lost to the Mongols, Europeans would be speaking Mongol until now. For Ayn Jalut, the Europeans should be thankful to the muslims during Qutuz.

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  13. A very timely article, reminding Muslims of thir history and the uphill task Muslims face in todays world. But signs so far suggest that it will only be a miracle that can save the Muslim world.

    Muslim world is in danger from none other than themselves.

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  14. Salam brother wajid

    I dont know how else to contact you. I am running a youth organization in pakistan. The objective is exactly what u said u like. I am ready to provide all details and would love to discuss with you about it. I already have very good contacts with iera. Kindly tell me how can i contact you.


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